Fitness is not only about the strength of your muscles or how fast you run a mile. I like to think of meditation as fitness of the mind. Sometimes I meditate using my breath as my guide. But today, my meditation teacher opened our morning meditation with a story.
Every day a woman walked to the river carrying two empty pots attached on either side of a long stick. She placed the long stick atop her shoulders for the long journey to the river and back, so that each pot would hang on either side of her body as she walked.
One pot was brand new, shiny and clean; the other one was old and cracked.
When she got home after her long journey every day, the brand new pot would be filled to the brim with water from the river. The cracked pot, however, would be half empty, even though she had filled it with water just the same.
One day the old pot asked her:
“Why don’t you throw me out and replace me with a brand new pot? I’m old and cracked, and I can’t hold your water anymore. Every day half of my water spills out. I feel so bad. You work so hard. You should get a brand new pot.”
And the woman replied:
“Look at the path I walk every day. One side is dry and barren. The other side is lush and filled with flowers in full bloom. Every day when I walk back, the side you’re on gets irrigated by the water you can’t hold. So I went ahead and planted flowers on that side.”
The pot shook its head. And then the woman said:
“I could choose to see you as you are, a pot that’s old and cracked, and can no longer hold water the way you did. Or I could change my perception, and choose to see you as you are, a source of growth, fertility and bloom.”
When you change your perception… magic happens.